‘I wanted to reveal the truth’, says Zephany accused

09 March 2016 - 22:22 By TMG Digital

The 51-year-old woman who is charged with snatching Zephany Nurse from her sleeping mother’s arms 18 years ago when she was just three days old says she wanted to reveal the truth about the child’s identity but could not find the right moment to do so.

The woman accused of kidnapping Zephany Nurse. File photo
The woman accused of kidnapping Zephany Nurse. File photo
Image: Gallo Images / Beeld / Leanne Stander

Speaking in an exclusive interview with eNCA’s Annika Larssen‚ the woman said that when a DNA test had revealed that Zephany was not her biological child it “was a big load off my shoulders”.

“Thank the Lord the biological parents found her‚” the woman‚ who may not be named in order to protect Zephany‚ said.

“I just want to tell them I’m happy that they found her.”

She said she regretted not telling her husband about how she had obtained Zephany in the first place‚ adding that she did not want to break the strong bond between him and Zephany.

She stood by her story that she had not kidnapped the baby from Cape Town’s Groote Schuur Hospital on April 30 1997 but had paid R3‚000 to a woman called Sylvia who had handed the baby to her at a train station‚ which she believed was a legal adoption.

Her husband said during the interview that he had had no idea the child was not his biological daughter.

Asked how he had felt on learning that Zephany was not his biological daughter‚ he replied: “I was devastated… broken. I was confused.”

He added that he and Zephany had been very close. “She’s still my daughter.”

Asked about how he felt about his wife now that he knew the truth‚ he said: “She’s my wife. I must take care of her.”

The couple were not happy about being referred to as "kidnappers".

The man added that he was very upset by a remark by Zephany’s biological father that he was an “idiot”.

“It was very disrespectful‚” he said.

Zephany’s true identity was discovered when she unknowingly befriended her biological sister who attended the same school.

The woman accused of abducting Zephany has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping‚ fraud and contravention of the Children's Act. She admitted to misleading her family into believing the child was hers.

Judge President John Hlophe is to hand down judgment in the matter once closing arguments are concluded.